EP 139 SCI Netcast: Pamela Baird, HCareEXEC

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Here we go. This is Valerie VanBooven with the Senior Care Industry Netcast where leaders with three or more years of experience in the senior care market share their advice. So, let’s get to it. In a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do.

Pamela Baird:

Great having me on, thank you so much. My name is Pamela Baird. I’m an engagement manager and owner of HcareEXEC, a healthcare executive search firm. But I have depth and breadth of experience working in healthcare, including long-term care, and I’ve certainly most enjoyed working with mature adults.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely. And so, a recruiter is a really interesting conversation to have right now is that it’s a little challenging to recruit at any level. I know you’re an executive recruiter, right?

Pamela Baird:

I am. It is. It’s a really, really interesting time. I mean, the pandemic has been filled with challenges and opportunities, and it has helped us shift in some directions a little bit in some different areas that we have needed to do for the past couple decades. I certainly try and look at the glass full versus half empty. But yes, it has created some of the most unique staffing challenges that we have ever seen.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

You are so nice to say unique. It has been, I got to say. So, neither of us work directly with seniors anymore, even though it sounds like you’ve had experience. I know I have.

Pamela Baird:

Yes. Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

But as I work with home care agencies, hospice agencies, assisted living facilities, communities, whatever, and I hear not just from the executive level, I hear more of the CNA level challenges that they’re having, but I know that it’s everywhere. So, it has just been a really tough year-and-a-half. And my hope is that things turn around. I mean, seniors are such a gem in our lives, such a amazing part of our lives when we allow them to be. And they need our care, and they need our help, and they need good leaders. And our CNAs and our nurses and our LPNs and all of the staff, from everybody, dietary, all of us, we all need good leaders.

Pamela Baird:

Yes, yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, I appreciate what you do.

Pamela Baird:

Thank you very much.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

[crosstalk 00:03:05].

Pamela Baird:

I enjoy doing what I do. I feel that placing good leaders is important to steer the ship. Everything filters downward.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Oh, it sure does. Absolutely.

Pamela Baird:

And things are very systemic. Even when you look at a home healthcare agency, everybody has a job to do, and everybody’s really important. And again, the good leaders filter that culture and uphold that culture, which really focuses on what the organization’s mission is and what people are called to do in the industry.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely. So, I’m going to ask you what’s the best thing about serving aging adults. I know you’ve had that experience, but you also hire people who serve aging adults. So, what’s the best thing about all of that?

Pamela Baird:

Oh my goodness. Aging adults, I guess I’ve, through the years, grown to call them mature adults instead seniors. I just like mature adults. They have so many experiences to share. I can tell you immediately, there’s a little lady, her name was Alice, and she was my favorite, favorite resident when I worked in long-term care many, many years ago. And even when I left, I would even go back and visit her.

Pamela Baird:

But they’re so appreciative. They have so many great stories to share. They warm your heart, even home health care or wherever they are, independent living, assisted living, long-term care. But even taking a few minutes out of your day means so much to them. And I think we can all just… There’s so much value in those relationships and giving them a smile, giving them a touch, giving them a few minutes of your time. It’s warming.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely. This is probably one of the most rewarding careers or industries that you could have a career in. And just like all careers, it comes with a struggle sometimes. But at the end of the day, when you know that you’ve gone home and you’ve made somebody’s day better or somebody’s life better.

Pamela Baird:

Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And you’ve celebrated with them, maybe, or shared a story, it is the most rewarding part of a career. I mean, I’m blessed to have experienced that. So, let’s keep going. I would imagine in your career and in your professional life, there have been organizations or professionals who really made a difference to you. Who would you like to talk about?

Pamela Baird:

Oh my goodness. I think anybody who chooses to work in healthcare, wherever that is, service healthcare especially, wherever, my hats are off to every single individual. Not just during the pandemic, but at all times, because it does. Sometimes it’s grueling hours. Sometimes it’s staff shortages. Sometimes stays get really long and really hard, and they just do. And so, individuals who can really focus on what they do and the mission that they do, I just want to celebrate every single one of them.

Pamela Baird:

So, I guess instead of talking about an individual, I kept thinking about companies, individuals I really want to celebrate. But I think anybody who helps seniors, mature adults, hats off to you, every single one of them. Whether they are in dietary, whether they’re in housekeeping, whether they’re in… wherever they are, hats off to every single one of you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely. And some of those folks you just mentioned are unsung heroes, because they are that extra person that, whether it’s helping open a milk carton, or it’s making sure that that resident has their favorite side item that day with their meal, or the little things that you can [crosstalk 00:07:12].

Pamela Baird:

Yeah. And it’s those individuals who they walk by a room, they answer the call light, they go into the home, they do the extra things. It’s those individuals who have a true heart to serve others and to serve mature adults. And they take just a little extra step here and there, it doesn’t take much time, and that just helps everyone.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yep, absolutely. All right. Let’s talk about online marketing a little bit. I bet you’re really good at this because you’ve probably done a lot of recruiting online for a lot of years. So, what has been your experience, or what are your thoughts on online marketing?

Pamela Baird:

Yeah, I certainly have. I adopted years and years ago some of the digital interviewing platforms before they were popular today just because especially if you’re interviewing, let’s say for example, sales candidates, administration candidates, it really just gives people a snapshot of them and how they present, and what they look like, and interviewing questions. It’s just really great.

Pamela Baird:

But I do know the challenges of online today for seniors and senior communities and home healthcare and all of them as we’ve gone into the COVID isolation, and how senior communities are trying to view properties online, give tours online. I mean, we can talk about it from so many different levels. And it just depends, really, how adaptable the folks are. Some seniors are not. I’m blessed to have my mom who’s 86. She doesn’t want anything to do with technology.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I understand.

Pamela Baird:

And there’s many seniors like that. They’re like, I don’t want to look at something online. And again, it’s just not the same feeling, whether seeing something online versus being there in person.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, it’s true. I would say, yeah, the virtual tours are amazing, but you have to walk in. You have to breathe it in. You have to take in, does it smell like baked cookies? Does it smell like something else? I mean, you have to… visually you have to hear the sounds of the place. You have to really experience it. And I am glad to say that I would assume now, not everywhere, but in some areas, people are allowed with masks and proper screening, they’re allowed to come in to tour before making that final decision. But it has been rough.

Pamela Baird:

Yeah, it has. But again, let’s transition that over. I think what you really asked was about digital marketing, right? Digital media, digital marketing. But it relates. I wanted to acknowledge the challenge of the industry as well in that.

Pamela Baird:

I think that’s one of the things where we really transitioned. We’re going to do more things. We’re going to go back to some type of a hybrid model. We’re going in many industries to a hybrid model for work-wise, and we’re just going to use it in technology increasingly more and more and more.

Pamela Baird:

So, to hit home, the importance of any type of digital presence, digital videos, digital interviews, it’s not going to go away. It’s just going to absolutely increase. Because people want to do their research, they want to learn things. In many instances, they don’t want to be sold quite as much because they’re just bombarded with things. They’re looking for information and they’re looking for resources.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely, yeah. I think that this Zoom interview just like this and these kinds of interviews, I’ve seen our clients… And it’s not just Zoom. I mean, people are using FaceTime, they’re using WhatsApp, they’re using Google tools. They’re using anything that is the easiest for the person on the receiving end who’s either on their phone or on a computer, and it’s working out pretty well. Again, you want that person to meet them in person eventually, but this is a good way to start that is less time consuming for everybody as far as driving and parking and figuring it all out. Yep

Pamela Baird:

And there’s a cadence with interviewing from both sides of the coin. And so, again, it’s just easy to do. Usually there’s phone screens still, and then you do a quick little video interview, and you keep… But it is, it’s much more time consuming. It doesn’t cost as much. People don’t have to fly anywhere like they do in some positions. And it’s just convenient. It is one thing to meet somebody face to face.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:11:54].

Pamela Baird:

But again, I think there’s good usage for video interviews. And again, that just something with the technology that we’re going to embrace that is actually going to really improve how we do things moving forward.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I wanted to ask you something related to that. When an executive level person is preparing their CV, resume, whatever you call it, and they are actively seeking a new position, do you think that it’s helpful if they have a video, a short video introduction of themselves, or is that something you say, nah, just wait till the interview?

Pamela Baird:

It’s kind of like resumes, everybody has a different opinion. I think it doesn’t hurt. I see some executives, they go online and they have their own page, especially depending on what they do. They literally have a page with their name. They have their accomplishments. They might have a video, a couple of videos on there, and people can go view it. I think that’s a really, really cool idea. Salespeople, absolutely. Sales managers, absolutely. So yes, I do think that’s a great idea. Again, everybody has their own flavor of how they think they’re going to want to present themselves to the world.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. I’d say if you’re camera shy, maybe that’s not a great idea. But if you are in front of people and talking to them all the time, that might be a really great presentation of you before an interview. Awesome. All right. Good to know. Okay. Let’s talk about advice. What piece of advice, and this might be from a hiring aspect or anything else. What piece of advice would you give to senior care providers out there?

Pamela Baird:

Oh my goodness. Boy. The biggest piece of advice I have is to have a process. You need to make sure you have a recruitment process. Standardized protocol, standardized process, follow it through.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yep, absolutely. I think we’re winging it a lot.

Pamela Baird:

And some do. And there is a recruitment. It’s really an art. The science of recruitment is an art. It’s very process-driven. It’s highly strategic. So, for example, let’s say you’re looking for individual candidates. You need to know exactly who you’re looking for and who you’re not looking for. And you need to have a proven methodology that creates great results. And you need a process to move folks through that interview process that you’re giving and receiving the right information so everybody can make a really good decision at the end of the day.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes, absolutely. Yeah. We talk a lot to our clients about we have this process set up, you have to follow through, you have to follow up. Communication can be a challenge sometimes, at every level, whether you’re executive or you’re down to the [crosstalk 00:15:09] level. Communication back and forth can be very challenging. Even though most of it seems instant right now, people are busy. They might not answer a text. They might not answer… So, it is definitely worth having a process and some parameters about how to send somebody the next step, for sure.

Pamela Baird:

Yeah. And my second biggest piece for providers is, again, have a strategic plan for your hiring and recruitment, and know where your turnover is. Know what kind of plan. Always be recruiting. You’re always recruiting. No matter where you get the talent, you never, never stop, even if your staffing is full.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes. Yeah. You know what? You never know when two people are going to quit in one day or whatever. It could be anything. Definitely never stop recruiting, that is totally true. All right. My last question is supposed to be a fun one. When you have a win in life or in business, how do you like to celebrate?

Pamela Baird:

It depends. It depends on the win. It depends on the level of the win. Again, how challenging the win was. It could be anything from a special dinner. It could be a spa. It could be a great big win and timing that you might even take a little retreat, a long weekend or a vacation.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely.

Pamela Baird:

But I’m a big proponent of always having something to look forward to.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. That’s good. Yep. Yep, it’s always nice when you have something to look forward to at the end of the day or the end of a week, so absolutely. Well, thank you. Thank you for doing the interview and for talking to us. Because I think, first of all, you’re the first recruiter, executive recruiter, that we’ve had on the show, which is awesome. And I would imagine that you have a lot to share and a lot to help organizations with who are in a position where they need to hire at that executive level, and they’re really struggling and need some guidance and need some assistance from a professional like you. So, thank you so much. We’ll make sure all your contact information is with your video.

Pamela Baird:

Oh my goodness, thank you so much. I appreciate your time. It’s great to be on here. And I love what I get to do. I feel every day I get to help. Even though I’m a little bit more removed, I get to help and contribute to affect people’s lives for the better by having the right talent in place. And it makes me smile. And when I get the opportunity to make really great matches where the company is so excited and the candidate is so excited, and again, it improves the candidate’s life as well. So, nothing makes me more happy to do that. And I have a depth and breadth of background. I have healthcare service background. I have even medical product background and some teaching background. And I’m so glad and so blessed that I get to serve in the healthcare community.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. Thank you so much. We will make sure that folks can get ahold of you for their next big recruiting effort, big or small. And just to know you’re out there and that you can make a difference for their organization, that’s awesome, so thank you.

Pamela Baird:

Thanks for your time. Appreciate you. Thank you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Woo hoo, you’re done. Yay.

Pamela Baird:

Yay.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome.

Pamela Baird:

Was that okay? I felt so unprepared.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

No, no, you did great. It’s supposed to be a very easy conversation. Let me stop my recording. Hold on a second here. Stop.

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Founder, Co-Owner, Wife, Mom, Author, Video Nerd. The buck stops here. Serving the Home Care and Senior Care Markets since 2008! Our services include home care seo, home care websites, home care marketing, home care social media, home care recruiting, caregiver recruiting, and home care Google My Business strategies.
Valerie VanBooven RN BSN
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